Hofburg, Vienna’s Imperial Palace

25 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Hall of Festivities during a concert of the Vienna Hofburg Orchestra © Wiener Hofburg Orchester/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hall of Festivities during a concert of the Vienna Hofburg Orchestra © Wiener Hofburg Orchester/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Hofburg is the former principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers and today serves as the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. It is located in the center of Vienna and was built in the 13th century and expanded several times afterwards. It also served as the imperial winter residence, as Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence.   read more…

Theme Week Taiwan – Hsinchu

24 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Hsinchu City Government © 勤岸/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hsinchu City Government © 勤岸/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hsinchu, officially known as Hsinchu City, is a provincial city in northern Taiwan. Hsinchu is popularly nicknamed “The Windy City” for its windy climate. Among the tourist attractions are: Black Bat Squadron Memorial Hall, Glass Museum of Hsinchu City, Hsinchu City Art Site of Railway Warehouse, Hsinchu CKS Baseball Stadium, Hsinchu Museum of Military Dependents Village, Hsinchu Fish Harbor, Hsinchu Zoo, National Hsinchu Living Arts Center, 17 Kilometer Coastal Scenic Area, Eighteen Peaks Mountain Park, Hsinchu Eastern Gate, Chenghuang Temple Night Market and Tsing Hus Night Market.   read more…

Theme Week Taiwan – Taichung

23 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Night Market © AngMoKio/cc-by-sa-3.0

Night Market © AngMoKio/cc-by-sa-3.0

Taichung, officially known as Taichung City, is a special municipality located in central Taiwan. Taichung has a population of approximately 2.8 million people and is Taiwan’s second most populous city since July 2017. It serves as the core of the Taichung–Changhua metropolitan area, which is the second largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. The current city was formed when Taichung County merged with the original provincial Taichung City to form the special municipality on 25 December 2010. Located in the Taichung Basin, the name of the city was created under Japanese rule, and became a major economic and cultural hub. Originally composed of several scattered hamlets, the city of Taichung was planned and developed by the Japanese. It was called “the Kyoto of Formosa” in Japanese era because of its calm and beauty. The city is home to many cultural sites, including the historic Taichung Park, the Lin Family Gardens, and many temples.   read more…

Portrait: Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the Printing Press

23 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Gutenberg Bible - Lenox Copy - New York Public Library © flickr.com - NYC Wanderer (Kevin Eng)/cc-by-sa-2.0

Gutenberg Bible – Lenox Copy – New York Public Library © flickr.com – NYC Wanderer (Kevin Eng)/cc-by-sa-2.0

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, inventor, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe with the printing press. His introduction of mechanical movable type printing to Europe started the Printing Revolution and is regarded as a milestone of the second millennium, ushering in the modern period of human history. It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.   read more…

Theme Week Taiwan – Keelung

22 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Taiwankengo/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Taiwankengo/cc-by-sa-4.0

Keelung, officially known as Keelung City, is a major port city situated in the northeastern part of Taiwan. It borders New Taipei with which it forms the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area, along with Taipei itself. Nicknamed the Rainy Port for its frequent rain and maritime role, the city is Taiwan’s second largest seaport (after Kaohsiung).   read more…

Theme Week Taiwan

21 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks

Presidential Office Building in Taipei © Jiang

Presidential Office Building in Taipei © Jiang

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia. Its neighbors include the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. It is the most populous state and largest economy that is not a member of the United Nations.   read more…

Bangkok, capital of Thailand

21 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Yaowarat Road, Bangkok's Chinatown at night © flickr.com - Ninara/cc-by-2.0

Yaowarat Road, Bangkok’s Chinatown at night © flickr.com – Ninara/cc-by-2.0

Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres (605.7 sq mi) in the Chao Phraya River delta in central Thailand, and has a population of over eight million, or 12.6 percent of the country’s population. Over fourteen million people (22.2 percent) lived within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region, making Bangkok the nation’s primate city, significantly dwarfing Thailand’s other urban centres in terms of importance.   read more…

Arts and Crafts Movement

18 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Design & Products, General, London

Philip Webb's Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath, Greater London © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-3.0

Philip Webb’s Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath, Greater London © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Arts and Crafts movement was an international movement in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and North America between about 1880 and 1920, emerging in Japan (the Mingei movement) in the 1920s. It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial. It had a strong influence on the arts in Europe until it was displaced by Modernism in the 1930s, and its influence continued among craft makers, designers, and town planners long afterwards. The term was first used by T. J. Cobden-Sanderson at a meeting of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1887, although the principles and style on which it was based had been developing in England for at least twenty years. It was inspired by the ideas of architect Augustus Pugin, writer John Ruskin, and designer William Morris. The movement developed earliest and most fully in the British Isles, and spread across the British Empire and to the rest of Europe and North America. It was largely a reaction against the perceived impoverished state of the decorative arts at the time and the conditions in which they were produced.   read more…

Angkor Wat in Cambodia

16 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Buddhist monks in front of the Angkor Wat © flickr.com - sam garza/cc-by-2.0

Buddhist monks in front of the Angkor Wat © flickr.com – sam garza/cc-by-2.0

Angkor was the capital city of the Khmer Empire, which also recognized as Yasodharapura and flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries. Angkor was a megacity supporting at least 0.1% of the global population during 1010–1220. The city houses the magnificent Angkor Wat, one of Cambodia‘s popular tourist attractions. The word Angkor is derived from the Sanskrit nagara, meaning “city”. The Angkorian period began in AD 802, when the Khmer Hindu monarch Jayavarman II declared himself a “universal monarch” and “god-king”, and lasted until the late 14th century, first falling under Ayutthayan suzerainty in 1351. A Khmer rebellion against Siamese authority resulted in the 1431 sacking of Angkor by Ayutthaya, causing its population to migrate south to Longvek.   read more…

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